Stress is becoming more and more prevalent in the society we live in. It has even gone on to become a societal norm; if you’re not under some sort of stress, you’re probably not working or studying hard enough. This has led some to carry it around like a medal of honour, proudly flaunting it.
Let’s be honest here. Stress is not and should never be some sort of metric for how diligent or dedicated an individual is.
Stress is unhealthy. Period. Admittedly, small amounts of it do drive people to perform better and help discover the potential within themselves. However, there needs to be an understanding that past a certain point, stress no longer functions as a strong source of motivation. It becomes an insidious poison that will have debilitating effects on your mental health in the long run.
So here comes the question: how do you deal with stress? Thankfully, there are many scientifically proven ways to help you with stress relief. We will cover 5 different ways to deal with it in this post. Do bear in mind that everybody is fundamentally different and some of these might work for you while others might not. Be sure to test them all out and pick the best out of the lot.
The first method of stress relief is probably the most generic of this list – but for good reason. It works for the majority of people.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It’s simple, completely free and can be done without any equipment anywhere and anytime. Originally meant to gain deeper insight into the mystical energies that control life, meditation is used in modern times to clear the mind and allow your body to enter into a deep state of relaxation and tranquillity.
The trick to meditation is to focus on just being. Find a quiet spot and sit down or lie down. Push out all thoughts from your mind and slow down your breathing while relaxing your entire body. It is akin to hitting the “reset” button after a long day at work. Expel all negativity and you’ll feel much better after.
Pick up a hobby
Another way of dealing with stress is to pick up a hobby you genuinely enjoy. This results in a release of dopamine that will help to improve your mood and generally make you feel better.
This can come in many different forms: gaming, reading a book, gardening, drawing… the possibilities are endless. The main point is that the activity has to be something that makes you happy and from which you derive a sense of enjoyment and even fulfilment from. Unfortunately, it is once again a trial-and-error process finding such a hobby, but once you do, it’ll make a big difference in your life.
Open up to others
Having an outlet for your emotions is crucial for mental health. Envision a balloon that is constantly being filled with air without any chance for release. It’ll eventually go pop, unable to withstand the pressure from within.
Similar to the balloon in that analogy, if you don’t let yourself have an outlet from time to time, it can cause all that negative energy to accumulate until you reach a breaking point as well.
A good practice for healthy stress management is to open up to your closest friends and families about it. They won’t judge you as more often than not, they will be able to relate to it or might have gone through it themselves. Just this act of sharing what you are going through can feel like a huge burden has been lifted off your shoulders and you can breathe easier.
In line with the above point of having an outlet, physical exercise could possibly be the best one out of the lot. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a professional athlete or in shape, exercise still goes a long way in helping you to relieve stress. It’s a crucial part of any stress management plan, and here’s why.
Physical exercise causes your brain to produce more feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. We may know it as the “runner’s high”, but this applies to almost every aerobic activity. Endorphin is known to be the main coping mechanism against pain and stress, so physical exercise can directly help with stress management.
In addition, you can think of exercise as a form of meditation as well. Aerobic activity typically leaves you so tired and breathless you can’t help but focus on the exercise itself and the related movements. After the exercise has concluded, you’ll find that besides for the body aches, you actually feel like you have shed all the tension from your body. This might sound counterintuitive, but you emerge refreshed and energized.
In fact, if you really want to get into physical exercise, you might want to give EMS training a try. EMS stands for Electrical Muscular Stimulation and it basically helps to improve the results of your training through controlled electrical impulses that cause your muscles to contract more deeply. You can read more about EMS technology here.
Give it a shot, you’ll be surprised at how much this will help improve your quality of life.
We tend to forget that before you can love others, you have to love yourself. Stress can come in many forms, but most are from external sources. Learn to focus on yourself. Nobody owes you a living, and similarly, you do not owe anybody anything either. Always put yourself first.
Improve yourself because you want to. Do the things that you like. Buy the things that make you happy (of course, make sure it’s within your means!). Go at your own pace. Pay no heed to what others say because they have never walked a day in your shoes and will never be able to understand what you are going through.
You come first before anything else. If that makes you selfish, so be it. You will always have the chance to help others in the future once you are ready to.